Addressing the Wounds Inflicted by Clergy Abuse
Dear Friends in Christ,
Below is the list of priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors and young people in the Diocese of Sacramento. The list details the history of sexual abuse by clergy over the last seven decades in our diocese. It is a necessary reckoning for our local Church.
I am repulsed and heartbroken by the evil acts that were perpetrated upon the innocent by those entrusted with their care. When you read the list you will experience your own feelings of shock, anger and disgust. This undoubtedly will reopen wounds for many.
The pain and suffering of the victims from the betrayal and loss of innocence has continued for decades and will never go away. So too should our prayers never cease for God’s healing mercy upon them.
I apologize for the sins and failures of the past. I am determined that such acts of abuse should never again occur in our diocese. I pledge to you that I and my brother priests are zealous in our efforts to ensure that our parishes and other Church ministries are safe environments for our children and young people. Our work follows the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by Bishop Weigand in 2002. This greatly reduced the frequency of these sins. However, even one such event is one too many. We are determined to remain vigilant.
The list of 46 credibly accused clergy who served in the Diocese of Sacramento is a living document. I and my staff have worked hard to ensure its completeness. This included a review by an expert team of legal professionals led by Dr. Kathleen McChesney, a former executive assistant director of the FBI and a founding member of the Office of Child Protection at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Together, we have reviewed the personnel records for every bishop, priest, and deacon (almost 1,500 in all) who has served in the Diocese of Sacramento over a span of seven decades. To the extent that any new information becomes available, new names may be added to the list over time.
I gratefully acknowledge the members of the Independent Review Board who have assisted me in determining the list of those credibly accused.
I invite you to review the FAQ portion of this presentation for a more detailed explanation of “credible” and answers to many other relevant questions.
In these days of reckoning for our local Church, please join me in praying for the healing of all victims of sexual abuse. Let us also implore God’s purifying mercy upon the Church. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Mercy, intercede for us with her Son, Jesus.
+ Jaime Soto
Bishop of Sacramento